Flashback: Media Downplayed Obama’s Holocaust Offense in 2009

Obama Dresden (Gerald Herbert / Associated Press)
Gerald Herbert / Associated Press

The mainstream media are suddenly outraged about the fact that President Donald Trump issued a statement commemorating International Holocaust Remembrance Day on Friday, and neglected to make specific mention of Jews.

In 2009, however, the media defended President Barack Obama when he did something arguably more offensive: visiting the German city of Dresden, which was bombed by Allies in the Second World War, before visiting the Holocaust death camp at Buchenwald.

For many Holocaust revisionists and denialists, the (real) suffering of civilians in Dresden in war is equated (falsely) with the Nazis’ deliberate murder of six million Jews.

Obama, whose great uncle participated in the liberation of Buchenwald (a fact Obama flubbed during the 2008 campaign, confusing it with Auschwitz), bizarrely included Dresden on his itinerary. The intent seems to have been to convey a message of reconciliation, on the heels of his Cairo speech to the Muslim world.

But the gesture was offensive, at least to some. The American Thinker, a conservative blog, chided President Obama for potentially “equating the strategic bombing of a German city with the deliberate murder of millions of innocents.” The Heritage Foundation warned: “The myths that have grown up about the [Dresden] raid were fostered by the Nazis and spread by post-war Soviet propaganda. … Because of this spurious symbolism, President Obama’s decision to visit Dresden is ill-advised.”

Yet Obama pressed ahead — and he was defended by the mainstream media. Time‘s Michael Scherer, in “Obama in Dresden: the Non-Controversy Controversy,” wrote that Obama’s Dresden trip was purely coincidental: “Sometimes location is everything. Other times, it’s just a convenient place to spend the night.”

That hewed closely to Obama’s excuse: “Most of the speculation of my schedule in Germany doesn’t take into account simple logistics.”

The media took him at his word.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He was named one of the “most influential” people in news media in 2016. His new book, How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.


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